Jan 19

Datalegreya is a typeface which can interweave data curves with text. It is designed by Figs, on the basis of open source font Alegreya Sans Thin SC by type designer Juan Pablo Del Perla.

For all its transcendental appeals, art has always been inextricably grounded in the material realities of its production, an entwinement most evident in the intriguing history of artists’ colours. Focusing in on painting’s primary trio of red, yellow, and blue, Philip Ball explores the science and stories behind the pigments, from the red ochre of Lascaux to Yves Klein’s blue.

Forget everything you know about CSS. Or at least, be ready to reconsider a lot of it. If like me you’ve been writing CSS for over a decade, CSS in 2020 looks nothing like what you were used to.

Instead of breakpoints, we can now leverage CSS Grid to make dynamic, responsive layouts that adapt to any viewport size with fewer lines of code. Instead of relying on global stylesheets, CSS-in-JS lets us colocate our styles with our components to build themeable design systems.

And most of all, Tailwind CSS has burst onto the scene and, through its use of utility-first CSS, forced us to reconsider the traditional dogma of semantic class names.

Whether all this change makes you want to write a hyped-up blog post or an angry Twitter rant, we are here to present the data, highlight the trends, and hopefully guide you through another eventful year of CSS!

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Typography accounts for 95% of web design. Your font choice can be critical for branding, readability, and performance.

Over time, recommendations for using web fonts have changed as browsers adopted new standards. Now in 2021, I wanted to learn the best practices for using web fonts on high-performance sites.

Dec 28, 2020

See all those companies? They’re not our customers. But they could be. They all discovered the same truth we did: people implicitly trust logos set in Helvetica.

So don’t worry about all those “arty” types who insist that other fonts are sometimes useful. Do the right thing: spend a large amount of money on a “rebrand” you could have made yourself in five minutes.

Dec 28, 2020

This post introduces a new model for a path drawing (pen) tool, with a particular focus on font design.

Although this tool works much like familiar pen tools (which are based on the manipulation of Bézier curves), it is actually based on a new family of two-control-point curves, which we’ve been calling the hyperbezier.

This work is still in its early stages, and the demo below is quite barebones; my goal here is to get a simple version of this tool into the hands of designers and design-tool makers, so that more people can start to play around and evaluate it.

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Dec 13, 2020

So HP’s Marketing Department decided to do something it had never done before. Instead of advertising in engineering and scientific journals, they would place ads in magazines like Esquire or Scientific American and sell the HP-35 by mail-order direct to the customer. That’s where the photo of Karen comes in.

An Amiga, Deluxe Paint and a mouse. From the late 80s to the early 90s, these 3 tools were at the core of numerous graphic designers’ workstations in the West. It took years for the Japanese industry to start adopting commercial engines such as Unity and Unreal Engine, most of those companies were used to develop their own engines before that. This home-made approach wasn’t exclusive to game engines; at a time when most Western companies used the same sound engine on Mega Drive -GEMS-, Japanese developers often produced their own. Regarding graphic design, it was pretty much the same: there was almost one kind of setting per company in Japan.

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Dec 9, 2020

Here’s a quote from the paper “Document Production: Visual or Logical?” in Notices of the American Mathematical Society (June 1987), pages 621-624, by LaTeX author Leslie Lamport:

The purpose of writing is to convey ideas to the reader. The worst aspect of visual systems is that they subvert the process of communicating ideas by encouraging the writer to concentrate on form rather than content. Ideas are conveyed by the logical structure of the text; the function of the visual format is to display this structure. The author should be concerned with the structure, not any particular visual representation.

Here’s another quote:

Document design is a skill acquired through training and experience. A logical system can apply the skill of a trained designer to the formatting of a document.

Let’s see how well this worked for one of my papers, a paper that was forced to switch visual formats.

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